Category Archives: Season 1

Final Thoughts – Sherlock Series One

It feels a bit odd to be summing things up after only three episodes but that’s how the Brits roll.  Like a lot of British television, Sherlock plays more like a series of mini-movies that a serialized drama.  That’s not a bad thing, as the show delivered three good to great stories, but it does prevent the series from building on itself in any significant way.  The cliffhanger finale seems somewhat out of place in this context, as there’s been no emotional build up to accompany it. Continue reading


Don’t Make People Into Heroes

Wait, I haven't finished explaining my master plan

Wait, I haven’t finished explaining my master plan

“The Great Game” almost brings Sherlock’s first series to a conclusion as brilliant as it’s beginning.  This episode’s pretty much perfect for 95% of its running time.  Sadly, the other 5% comes at the climax and while it’s not bad, it’s not great either.  We’ve seen plenty of mad men put heroes through the gauntlet but this story still manages to feel fresh, not in the least part due to the continued Holmes/Watson chemistry and the increasingly negative light it sheds on our hero.  Moriarty brings out both the best and the worst in Sherlock and it’s unfortunate that their escalating cat and mouse game comes to such a disappointing conclusion.  A climax really needs to surpass everything that’s come before it and it seems as though the bar was just set too high for this one. Continue reading

You’re Professional Puzzle Solvers?

Lousy hoodlums

Lousy hoodlums

While not as strong as the premiere, “The Blind Banker” is still a very good episode.  The journey from some office graffiti to a Chinese crime syndicate is certainly a twisting one, but the strong writing and characterization keeps it from feeling convoluted.  Well, not too convoluted.  The episode’s brisk pace kept me immersed but, during the rare lull, it occurred to me that things were looking a little trackless.  They come together in the end, aided by the syndicate general mis-connecting the dots to conclude that Watson is Holmes.  On the one hand, it’s a very deft piece of exposition but, on the other, it’s unfortunate that it was necessary. Continue reading

Why Can’t People Just Think?

How many times can we walk towards camera in one episode?

How many times can we walk towards camera in one episode?

At the risk of gushing, I’ll call Sherlock’s premiere brilliant.  The component pieces were all working from almost the outset of “A Study in Pink.”  Serial suicides make for an intriguing procedural hook and the writing and characters are more than enough to reel us in.  Benedict Cumberbatch brings the necessary measure of realism to Holmes’ brilliance and acerbic wit while Martin Freeman carries the dramatic weight as the damaged Dr. Watson.  Very few series work anywhere near this well right out of the gate and so it’s a surprising risk when they choose to make Holmes an actual sociopath instead of simply an entertaining one. Continue reading